Do Clothes Shrink In The Washer Or Dryer

How many times has this happened to you? You put on a load of laundry, wait patiently for the two machines to finish their thing, and you’re taking your garments out. And then — lo and behold! Nothing fits you anymore since it has shrunk! So you’re left with a query — do garments shrink in the washing machine or dryer?

It’s only natural and organic to indicate fingers, so that you could say.
So if you’re thinking which one among your lovely appliances is the culprit for
having a jumper that only suits your puppy cat now, the answer is, unfortunately, both.

Well, larger said, both machines CAN shrink
your garments if you’re no longer careful.
So let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of hows and whys.

Which Garments Reduce the Most?

Shrunken laundry is a real first-world
problem. However, every person deals with it. That is amazing because it doesn’t make
me feel like an utter failure. But it does make every person an immediate “expert” on
the subject. Historic wives’ tales about doing this and that to avoid shrinkage
are a dime a dozen.

That’s why I decided to dig a bit deeper
and unravel the truth. First of all, why
does any article of clothing shrink
? Furthermore, is it the dryer that
shrinks the garments or the washer? And, finally, how do I stop it?

Natural Fibers

Natural fibers that make up fabric like cotton and linen are not straight. Furthermore, unlike synthetic materials, natural fibers are only so long as nature permits. Thus, being all wavy and of alternative lengths, while manufacturers weave them into the fabric, they have to straighten, stretch, and fasten them.

Stretching, in particular, changes the molecular state of the fiber.
That, in part, makes the entire fabric more susceptible to difference as a result of heat
and moisture. When uncovered to warmth (be it within the dryer or the new water in the
washer), natural fibers curl.

Once the fibers curl, the complete fabric
shrinks, and you’re left with an object of clothing that’s solely too small for
you (or, often, any human in your vicinity).

Synthetic Fibers

Unlike natural and organic fibers, man made ones are straight. Therefore, knitting them into the material won’t difference their molecular state. Does that imply that man made fibers won’t reduce within the washing machine and/or dryer? No longer necessarily. Pure synthetic fibers like polyester won’t difference their shape at all. However, most clothes are made out of fabric blends (a blend of natural and artificial fibers) and are, therefore, susceptible to shrinkage.

Ways That Both Washer and Dryer Reduce Your Clothes


Consolidation is the triple threat. It’s the
combined outcomes of heat, moisture, and
the put on and tear that happens while the machines tumble
. All 3 factors
diminish the stress that’s keeping the fibers together.

Therefore, the full garment gets a bit deformed each time we wash it in
hot water and dry it on excessive heat. The fibers shorten due to heat exposure,
which changes the length and the final length of the garment.


Just for the sake of it, let’s name this “double
trouble,” because the rest of the fibers occurs when the fabric is exposed
to moisture and heat. That can
happen when you’re washing garments in warm water or whilst you’re drying them on a
high-temperature setting.

natural fibers will swell
when put in hot water, and,
as a result, shrink. However, the shrinkage won’t be as dramatic as you might
think — basically round 1%. The only exception is silk, that will pop out looking
much smaller than when it came in, that is why every person recommends washing
silk in bloodless water.


Felting shrinkage occurs in simple terms on natural
fibers that are scaly. Fabric like wool or different substances derived from animal
fur have scales on the surface that could compress
if you disclose them to excessive heat
. Thus, our jumper analogy from the
beginning of the article. Everyone’s reduced in size a sweater or two of their lifetime!

Heat: The Leading Intent for Shrinkage

As you can see, both motives that cause shrinkage are moisture and heat. The latter, of course, is the main wrongdoer when it comes to your clothes popping out deformed after a load of laundry.

Exposing the clothes to high warmth is rarely a
good idea. Don’t get me incorrect — I recognize the urge! Washing my garments in
hot water and utilizing extended, drawn-out courses for the two washing and drying
was my manner of making certain everything’s appropriately cleaned. That’s especially
important in terms of specific laundry loads like toddler clothes, whites,
and delicates.

But high
heat will be harmful in your garments and your budget
. You’ll find
yourself shopping for clothing extra usually than you’d like (or can afford!) if
you preserve doing it.

So what’s the perfect solution? How can you
avoid shrinkage?

How to Hinder Garments From Shrinking

You CAN restrict ruining your garments while not having to banish the washing machine and dryer out of your home. I’m now not preaching hand washing right here — just a bit of caution!

Look for an “Anti-Shrinkage” Finish

When you’re buying cotton clothes that are prone to shrinkage, be sure to get the cotton with an “anti-shrinkage” finish. You may also uncover wool that’s been handled with a comparable finish. Thus, you can say see you later to cat sweaters!

Follow the Washing and Drying Instructions

Make certain necessarily to follow the bathing and drying instructions that you’ll uncover at the label. Don’t forget that not all clothes are washer- and dryer-friendly. If you’re no longer interested in having to pay money for dry cleaning, then pay additional recognition to labels whilst you’re shopping.

Get Polyester-Cotton Blends

Try to buy polyester-cotton blends because they’re harder and enduring. You could additionally buy clothes that have been pre-shrunk by means of the manufacturer. Pre-shrunk garments have already had the tension of their fibers released, that means that they’ve already shrunk as much as they can. That’s the number-one thanks to preclude any surprises!

A Few Parting Words

All in all, both your washer and your dryer can shrink your clothes, yet basically if
you’re now not careful
. If you are taking precautions and pay attention to both the
instructions and washer/dryer settings, you’ll on no account minimize one other article of
clothing again!